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Meet Our Administrative Team

Administrative Professionals Day is April 22, 2020, so we want to take a minute to introduce you to our administrative professionals in this special edition of "Meet the Team." Meet Melissa Kappel, Janet Kern and Tricia St. Andre.

posted On Tuesday, April 7, 2020 in Blog

Meet Our Administrative Professionals

Q&As with Melissa, Janet & Tricia

What year did you start working at AHT?

Janet: 1993

Melissa: 1999

Tricia: 2018

What other positions have you had in the past (within or outside of AHT)?

Janet: My senior year of high school I worked in the office at a company in my home town called Do-It Corp. They make fishing sinker molds. I worked there until my first son was born. Then I was a stay-at-home mom and daycare provider for 8 years. When I started AHT, we didn’t have titles. When I did get a title, I was Marketing Coordinator.

Melissa: I was first hired at AHT as receptionist at the corporate office. I have also helped out our Burton Ave. location in Waterloo, Iowa with shipping and invoicing. Some other positions I've held outside of AHT include: receptionist, secretary, bookkeeper, administrative assistant and candy striper. 

Tricia: I worked as an Office Manager, Director of Affiliate Relations and Marketing, Marketing and Customer Service Manager, Home Care Aide, Customer Service Rep.

When you’re not working, how do you like to spend your free time?

Janet: At the river in Guttenberg, Iowa with my husband, grandsons, family and friends

Melissa: I like passing time watching TV by crocheting. In the summer, I love spending time outside, especially under the sun. Family is very important to me and I love spending time with my boys, their significant others, my husband and my granddaughter. 

Tricia: Always with my husband! We love summer and being at the lake and outdoors. Family is very important to me so you can always find me with some member of my family.

What is one of your favorite parts of your job?

Janet: I don’t just have one favorite part of my job. I love the variety of assisting several departments, being busy and being around my co-workers.

Melissa: People, both over the phone and in person, either greeting visitors or employees. Plus, I love helping others. If there is a task to be done, many hands make light work. 

Tricia: Even though they are a lot of hard work, I love doing the HR events at my plant! The joy and happiness you get to see on the employee’s faces when they feel appreciated and celebrated is my favorite things, and I love that I get to be a part of that!

AHT’s core values are Professionalism, Integrity, Loyalty, Service, Teamwork and Passion. Give us an example of how you’ve seen one of those core values demonstrated recently.

Janet: Passion - Being in the office around such passionate and positive people. Even during this pandemic, there is such a positive vibe and passion for being here.

Melissa: Professionalism - I feel it's very important that each visitor is greeted professionally, either over the phone or in person with a smile. (I could name several examples. It's hard to pick just one.)

Tricia: Teamwork/Service– Recently we had an order that needed to be rushed and literally every single person in the office joined the shop employees in packing/unpacking, set up, wiping down, whatever they were qualified to do so that the order could be completed and shipped to the customer on their requested deadline.

Why do you feel AHT is a good place to work?

Janet: Definitely the people. Such a great atmosphere.

Melissa: It's very family-oriented. We have several employees that have family working here. Plus, I feel with AHT, family comes first. 

Tricia: I love the family atmosphere that I get to experience every single day and I appreciate that customer service is one of our top priorities.

What is one thing people may not know about you?

Janet: When I went to AIC, I earned the award for typing the most words per minute! Also, I tend to stick with what’s working – I have learned the grass isn’t always greener on the other side! Been married for 36 years and been with AHT for going on 27 years. Guess I am not much for making changes.

Melissa: I LOVE music, especially 80s music. I love going to Hairball concerts when they are close.

Tricia: I am a 9 year breast cancer survivor and that experience has dramatically helped me become the happy and grateful person that I am today. Also, while working in cable television and the pay-per-vew industry, I met many celebrities such as Emeril Legasse, Bob Barker, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Hugh Hefner, tons of WWF and WCW wrestlers, lots of famous boxers and lots of movie stars. I once had a wrestler pick me up over his head when he first met me! (Hint, it was Hacksaw Jim Duggan.)

What is one thing our customers may not know about AHT? OR What advice would you give our customers?

Janet: What a great group of people work here. Genuinely care about our employees and customers.

Melissa: As a person that answers the phone at AHT, we have 4 different locations that we answer the phone for. 

Tricia: That over 42% of our employees have been at AHT for more than 10 years!

Now, a series of quick random questions:

First Job:

Janet: Babysat in middle school and high school, but working in the office at Do-It Molds was my first “real” job.

Melissa: Snack bar attendant at the skating rink

Tricia: Hamburger drive thru

Favorite Food:

Janet: I love all food – Lasagna is probably my favorite though.

Melissa: Pasta

Tricia: Alfredo (with crab meat is a bonus)

(Editors Note: These three women have a lot in common when it comes to their favorite food.)

Least Favorite Food:

Janet: Can’t think of anything I don’t like. Ok – rocky mountain oysters.

Melissa: Onions

Tricia: I am not a fan of any kind of pickled food.

First Musical Album

Janet: REO Speedwagon and Meatloaf Albums – I still listen to them!

Melissa: Shaun Cassidy

Tricia: Hmmmm… not sure on that but there was plenty of Andy Gibb, boy bands and lots of R&B!

Song You Know Every Word To

Janet: "Paradise by Dashboard Lights" by Meatloaf

Melissa: "Don't Stop Believin" by Journey, "Living on a Prayer" by Madonna, "1999" by Prince. Lots of good songs!

Tricia: "Always and Forever" by Heatwave – it is the song my husband and I always dance to at every wedding, anniversary and holiday (which our grown kids love to see as a legacy of the love between their parents).

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Janet: Australia

Melissa: Hawaii

Tricia: Greece

Thanks for getting to know the women on the other side of the phone line. Talk soon. 

Main Number: 319-232-5221

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